Monday, October 31, 2011

He gave it all.

my dad absolutely adores me. i am the apple of his eye. i'm not trying to be obnoxious or conceited when i say these things. i just know them as fact, like gravity. when he greets me each morning, he acts as if he hasn't seen me in years, asks rhetorically, "how can you be so beautiful?!" in korean, and runs over to kiss me on my cheek. every single morning. i know without a shadow of a doubt that he would give me everything that was in his power to give. when we had nothing, he never let us know it because he still provided just the same, leaving scraps for himself. he will follow me anywhere God leads, to the ends of the earth. his love and devotion is constant and so accurately portrays the heart of our heavenly Father. but as good as my dad's affections and love may be, it's not perfect. there are flaws in the way he loves simply because he is human. so how much more could God possibly adore me? how much more is it on His heart to want to provide for His beloved daughter? He has the universe in the palm of His hands and the riches and kingdoms of the world at his disposal. how could i fail to believe that He will be faithful to my heart's desires? He knows my deepest thoughts and faintest whispers before i even have the courage and faith to bring them to Him. nonetheless, if i never receive another blessing from His hands or revelation from His heart, it would still be more than enough. He already gave it all for me- more than i will ever be worthy of on my own and more than my praise and thanksgiving will ever attempt to catch up to. but He doesn't leave us on our own, without hope for more. He graciously pours out His presence over us daily and it never ceases to overwhelm and transform. this blows my mind. how is it feasible to be in constant communion with someone who never changes yet still learn, experience, see new facets to who they are everyday of our lives? this is our God- infinite and always leaving us hungry and thirsty for more. You're my sweet, sweet obsession, Jesus :)

You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalms 139: 1-6, 13-18

Saturday, October 29, 2011

fear of the Lord

Where "the Gospel" is shared, it comes across something like this: "God accepts you just as you are. God has unconditional love for you." that is not biblical Gospel, however. the Gospel is better than unconditional love. the Gospel says, "God accepts you just as Christ is. God has 'contraconditional' love for you." Christ bears the curse you deserve. Christ is fully pleasing to the Father and gives you His own perfect goodness. Christ reigns in power, making you the Father's child and coming close to you to begin to change what is unacceptable to God about you. God never accepts me "as I am." He accepts me "as I am in Jesus Christ."The center of gravity is different. The true Gospel does not allow God's love to be sucked into the vortex of the soul's lust for acceptability and worth in and of itself. Rather, it radically decenters people- what the Bible calls "fear of the Lord" and "faith"- to look outside themselves.

Jesus says to take up our cross daily, dying to the false gods we fabricate, and learning to walk in fellowship with Him who is full of grace to help us. Receptivity to God's love- "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want"- is the absolutely necessary prerequisite for any sort of active obedience to God.

Let the Kingdom be always before you; and believe steadfastly concerning things that are invisible. Let nothing that is on this side of the other world get within you. Set your faces like a flint; you have all power in heaven and earth on your side.

[We] remember, amid hard combat with world, flesh, and Devil, the Celestial City which is [our] destination, and the Lord Jesus who beckons [us] to life.

-Idols of the Heart and "Vanity Fair." David Powlison.

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:26-31

Thursday, October 20, 2011

He found me.

i was watching August Rush this afternoon and was reminded of five months ago when the Lord revealed to me so intimately that He knows me. i was desperate to be found and i didn't even know i was lost. but He called me by my name, spoke tenderly to me and said i am fully known and perfectly loved by Him. it's as if He removed my blindfold, opened up my eyes, and let me see for the very first time. looking back now, i'm forever grateful for this massive revelation that radically transformed my life. this was not a casual, everyday occurrence. it was pivotal, crucial, and probably the most significant event in my walk with Jesus since becoming saved. i kept claiming then that this would completely change everything but i had no idea how or what it would look like. i would've never imagined this for myself- living for months in hawaii and israel, more restoration than i could have dreamed of praying for, and my heart to be whole again and so secure in love. and to think, it was just one particularly fine day and one essential truth that set me free and gave me life again. all it took was one glance into the heart of the Father to rock my world and make me fall so much in love. Jesus, thank you for letting me be found by You.

You called my name
Reached out Your hand
Restored my life
And I was redeemed
The moment You entered my life

Amazing grace
Christ gave that day
My life was changed
When from my shoulders
Fell the weight of my sin

Consume my thoughts
As I rest in You
I'm now in love
With a Saviour
Bearing the marks of His love

Wizard: What do you want to be in the world? I mean, the whole world,
what do you want to be? Close your eyes and think about that.
August Rush: Found.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Let it die.

there's a fine line between having faith in the goodness of God and equating the good things of God with who He actually is. when the lines are blurred, we run the risk of stepping over the boundary into being offended at Him when we don't physically see the goods in front of us. don't misunderstand, i have faith for the fulfillment of the prophecies and promises over my life and i press on to believe that He is faithful to my heart's desires. i trust that they are good and true and i claim them to come into fruition in His perfect time. but what if those things never come to pass or they look different than the way i initially perceived them to be given my limited perspective? will my heart turn away from the Lord if they don't look exactly the way i hoped and prayed for? am i so insistent and already set on my own agenda that i don't give the Lord free reign over my life? even worse, am i treasuring the fulfillment of my desires more than i seek His presence, more than God Himself? i know even beneficial and pure things run the risk of slowly taking the place of God in our hearts. we can take our calling & destiny dream that He has imparted to us and allow it to become our identity and security. we can take ownership to the point where it's not His plan for us anymore, it's just mine. to be on the safe side, i know what i need to do. i need to lay it down at His feet, let it die and trust that He will resurrect it when i'm ready. there is nothing i want to compete with His Lordship over my life. so i'm dying, once again, to the desires in my heart even though i am confident they are from His heart. i'm letting go and killing it before it threatens to consumes more of me than it was ever supposed to do. there's nothing i hold onto, my hands are wide open.

from Tozer's The Pursuit of God-

Abraham was old when Isaac was born, old enough indeed to have been his grandfather, and the child became at once the delight and idol of his heart... The baby represented everything sacred to his father's heart: the promises of God, the covenants, the hopes of the years and the long messianic dream... It was then that God stepped in to save both father and son from the consequences of an uncleansed love...Possibly not again until a Greater than Abraham wrestled in the Garden of Gethsemane did such mortal pain visit a human soul... He would offer his son as God had directed him to do, and then trust God to raise him from the dead.

"I only wanted to remove him from the temple of your heart that I might reign unchallenged there. I wanted to correct the perversion that existed in your love."

The sense of possession which they connote was gone from his heart. Things had been cast out forever. They had now become external to the man. His inner heart was free from them.
We are often hindered from giving up our treasures to the Lord out of fear for their safety; this is especially true when those treasures are loved relatives and friends. But we need have no such fears. Our Lord came not to destroy but to save. Everything is safe which we commit to Him, and nothing is really safe which is not so committed.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

life is love.

i'm living in a completely foreign land. i don't know the language. there is no target or mcdonalds in sight. everyone looks different than i do. nothing is familiar. so as i'm sitting alone at breakfast (without my morning coffee...oh, i miss coffee), i'm awestruck once again at how insignificant i am given this new worldview perspective. do i even matter, this face in the crowd? it's easy to get caught up in this mentality that life is all about me. too often than i'd like to admit, my mind is consumed with ME- how i present myself, my future, my comfort, my desires, even my Jesus. during college, i had a bit of an epiphany one day about life. i remember it well because it really depressed me and also i recall writing a blog on xanga about it (omg, remember xanga?). it started with just thinking about the board game LIFE. the more i thought about it, the more upset i got. what was going on before the game started and what happens after it's over? it's as if out of boredom and with a snap of a finger, these make believe lives were created, and the next minute it was over. so meaningless! what's the point? i paralleled it to my own life. i'm here for a second and then i'm gone. the problem with this bunny trail is finding the way back so we're not stuck in a funk. the only comforting remedy is discovering love in the midst of feeling so small. love gives purpose. it's the reason we were created. WE WERE MADE FOR LOVE. stop and let that really settle in. how utterly magnificent and beautiful is that? our sole purpose is for love, and not just with someone as finite and limited as we are, but first and foremost with our perfect creator God. He existed before the world began and He'll still be here when everything and everyone fades away. this is the life we are called to live. A story about a time, a story about a place, a story about the people. But above all things, a story about love. A love that will live forever.

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. -Moulin Rouge

i was made for this
i was made for pleasure
to gaze on the one i love
to live in sweet surrender
and by your precious blood
now i may boldly enter
into the beauty of your heart